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  • Entertainment

MOVIE: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019 7:00pm
MOVIE: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
MOVIE: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

TED Bundy appears to be back in fashion. The infamous American serial killer of the 1970s has recently been the subject of a Netflix series, ‘Conversations with a Killer’, and now a feature film, ‘Extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile’.  

Interestingly, the director of both offerings is the same Joe Berlinger, who started out as a documentary filmmaker, and on the basis of his new feature, should have kept going in that direction. 

The movie tells the Bundy story from the point of view of his partner, Elizabeth Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins), who for years refused to believe that her boyfriend was a murderer. 

Bundy himself is played by Zac Efron, with turns from John Malkovich as the judge and strangely, Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons as the prosecutor.  Everything seems reasonable so far, a decent cast and an interesting subject matter. But the film’s problems, and there are many, quickly begin to make themselves apparent.

For a start, the first rule of cinematic storytelling is to show and not tell, something first time screenwriter, Michael Werwie is hopefully aware of. 

And yet, we see none of Bundy’s murders, nor do we get any inclination that he is in any way dangerous or threatening. 

We are instead told that he is, and then in the second hour are taken to a trial and asked to care about what happens. Of course we don’t. 

 The dialogue is clunky with the actors sometimes using word for word transcription from the trial which feels out of place and ironically contrived, and the file footage at the end only serves to reinforce the feeling that you have been watching a staged re-enactment. 

There really is little point and very little drama to this film that ends up feeling like a TV movie in the days when that term had negative connotations. 

Again ironically, this offering will go straight to TV as it’s produced by Sky Cinema, with a theatrical release also. 

If you want to know more about Ted Bundy, we recommend you watch a documentary, and award this film a review score of 2 disappointing stars. 

Paul O’Rourke 

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